One solution often given for the problem of evil is that evil is part of a divine ‘plan’ or ‘harmony’ that we cannot see. In 1734, Alexander Pope expressed this view in his poem “An Essay on Man: Epistle I”:
“All nature is but art, unknown to thee;All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;All discord, harmony, not understood;All partial evil, universal good:And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.”For some, however, this answer is unsatisfactory. Evil against children is one example given as a counterargument to this position: why would an all-loving god allow innocent children to suffer? The character Ivan expresses this view in Theodore Dostoevsky’s 1880 novel The Brothers Karamazov:
“I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for. All the religions of the world are built on this longing, and I am a believer. But then there are the children, and what am I to do about them? That’s a question I can’t answer. For the hundredth time I repeat, there are numbers of questions, but I’ve only taken the children, because in their case what I mean is so unanswerably clear. Listen! If all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony, what have children to do with it, tell me, please? It’s beyond all comprehension why they should suffer, and why they should pay for the harmony.”
The song “Dear God” by XTC expresses the problem of evil (watch videos below); notice that the song/video begins and ends with a child questioning the existence of evil. The first video is the music video for the song (and it’s super weird); the second video has the lyrics in case you have trouble hearing them in the first video.
Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and philosopher, addresses this problem in a debate with Dr. William Lane Craig at the University of Notre Dame. Watch the video below, and then respond to how Harris addresses this specific aspect of the problem of evil, evil against children. What argument does he make in this debate? What is your response to his argument?
Read the below note carefully before writing your post; responses that do not accurately address the prompt will not receive full credit.
NB: One skill we work on developing in philosophy courses is understanding and summarizing arguments so that we can better evaluate them and respond to them.
Because students often respond to this post without describing Harris’ argument and without providing a valid response (a valid response is one based on reasons, not simply on personal religious beliefs), I have included the example below as an example of how you should structure your response.
‘My friend Cecelia claims that covid is a hoax created by liberals to make Trump lose the election. She defends her claim by saying that nobody she knows has gotten covid, that the deaths being reported are not from covid but from other causes, and that the media is making everything up because the media is liberal. My response to her argument is that covid is not a hoax. Just because she doesn’t know anyone who has gotten covid, that doesn’t mean it’s not real. For example, I don’t know anyone who has gotten malaria, but, plenty of evidence exists that malaria is real. Just because one doesn’t know someone directly afflicted by a disease, that doesn’t mean the disease isn’t real. Her claim that the deaths being reported are not from covid suggests that every doctor all over the world is in collusion to falsely report causes of death. Maybe there are some doctors who would agree to do that, but not every doctor all over the world who has reported deaths from covid. And her point about the media is also subject to the same criticism. It is very unlikely that the media all over the world is liberal and is making up or even exaggerating covid to cause Trump to lose the election. For example, if that’s the case, why would so many people in the media in places like Japan, France, Australia, Brazil, and many other places, all be conspiring to make sure Trump isn’t elected? So, my friend Cecelia’s argument is weak, at best. ’
Your response should take the following form:“‘Harris is arguing that x is the case. He defends his claim with these reasons (list reasons). My response to his argument is….(give specific reasons that directly address his reasons).’”
Make sure to follow the instructions given in Unit 1 in the Discussion Forums: Protocol and Grading Criteria folder for making specific references to texts, videos, and podcasts; posts that do not make references according to these instructions will not receive full credit.
NB- please follow this instructions. I do not need any citation. this is supposed to be a discussion board and not an essay. i need it to be like a personal idea and i dont need it to be long just enough to answer what is needed in the above and also i have attached youtube videos please watch them. Thank you